Stewart and Colbert Kicked Ass in Washington National Mall Today

Due to my overseas trip, I wasn’t able to attend the rally, but I monitored the event from satellite dish here in Tehran with friends via various channels. From the TV and various reports sent to me by friends on the foot there, it looks like there were about 250,000 people attended the Rally.

I think both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert did a great job to unite the American people. However, when I turned the channel to Fox News, all they were talking about was the color of people that were there…and how many of which………How pathetic that they want to “undo” the commaraderie that was created today.

The two comedians argued for fear. And for most of Saturday’s joint rally, the Comedy Central hosts played their parts—the reasonable, liberal talk show host and faux right-wing cable news blowhard. It seemed like an extended live version of ” the Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”

I was very impressed by Stewart and how he got serious in the final minutes, criticizing the political and media establishment for turning a magnifying glass on minor differences instead of what binds people together. Stewart, routinely skewers the press on the “The Daily Show” and singled out the media for extended criticism during his closing statement. “If we amplify everything,” he told those who flocked to the National Mall in Washington D.C., “we hear nothing.”

Here is Stewart’s full speech:

And, of course our beloved , Arianna Huffington did a great job there to. She went into the crowd at Rally To Restore Sanity and asked attendees which sentiment most resonated with them.

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Stewart, continuing on that theme, said that “we hear every damn day about how fragile our country is” or that there’s “polarizing hate,” and that “it’s a shame we can’t work together to get things done.”

“The truth is, we do,” he said. “We work together to get things done every damn day,” Stewart said. “The only place we don’t is here”—meaning Washington D.C.—”or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done.”

Stewart has an ongoing gripe with the media and political establishment—as was evident late in the afternoon and in the post-rally press conference. But most of the “Rally to Restore Sanity And / Or Fear” was much more lighthearted, with the two hosts playing off one another throughout.

Stewart and Colbert debated sanity vs. fear during a segment called “Formidable Opponent,” with Colbert saying that “every point must have a counterpoint—that is physics.”

They also acted in a skit about which musical act best expresses the rally’s theme.

After Stewart brought out Yusuf Islam—formerly known as Cat Stevens—to sing “Peace Train,” Colbert burst in with special guest Ozzy Osbourne to overpower the folk singer with his classic, “Crazy Train.” The two hosts kept interrupting until Islam and Osbourne left the stage arm-in-arm and a compromise was struck: The O’Jay’s “Love Train.”

There were other gags, including awards for reasonableness—Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga for his graceful handling of a blown umpiring call that ruined his perfect game—and for fear, with news organizations getting recognition for warning staff not to attend the rally because they might be perceived as partisan. (Colbert gave the award to a seven-year-old girl since news outlets were scared to come). The Roots warmed up the crowed and musicians Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, and Jeff Tweedy also hit the stage throughout the day.

Congrats to both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and of course our beloved Arianna Huffington and Oprah whose support had a major contribution to the Rally. I find Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher the main three people in the nation who have been doing a great job uniting the Americans and the world by their jokes and laughs. we are always in danger of taking ourselves too seriously. I find comedy to be an art of equal importance to music, poetry or visual arts.

Laughter makes us human. It is one of the specific characteristics of our species that is not shared by the animal kingdom. Therefore, I believe laughter can also bring us together. No matter where we come from and how different our social, economic or religious background is, we can all share a good joke. For as long as we remember how to laugh and love, I have no fear for the future of mankind. It is also my belief that laughter is one of the major ingredients of happiness and that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue it.

This is why I am so serious about laughter.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

3 Responses to Stewart and Colbert Kicked Ass in Washington National Mall Today

  1. Caleb Parker says:

    Great article, great rally, great points.

  2. deeohoran says:

    Afte all of the ads go away and we look back maybe we can all look back and give a laugh at all of the wasted dollars spent on them….

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